We all at some point and time search for fulfillment, inner peace or something that will help us live happier, healthier and more productive lives. Sometimes our quest for completion leads us into unwanted areas of addictions, food addiction, sexual addiction, drugs, alcohol abuse... Whatever we hunger after, we're seeking out ways to alleviate life's growing pains.
I want to share with you what was revealed to me through the Holy Spirit about addiction, but first, I want to define it. The definition for addiction is "the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming." Habits and patterns associated with addiction are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward), coupled with delayed harmful effects (long-term consequences)."
When our addictions reach the harmful stage and become uncontrollable, we seek out professional help either by entering a behavioral health care center or private therapy. The role of the therapist is to help you investigate your innermost thoughts, feelings and behaviors in an effort to help you attain a greater level of happiness. They look at how our unconscious mind influences our thoughts and behaviors. This usually involves looking at early childhood experiences in order to discover how those events may have shaped who you are and how they contributed to your current actions. In other words, a therapist tries to get you to change your mind about yourself.
I spent approximately 13 of my 20 years in behavioral health care counseling addictions, using the above therapeutic process. There where successes, but the failures outweighed them. Even with the successes, 1 or 2 years later there were individuals who relapsed; meaning, there was a recurrence of the problem. As I continued to observe the successes, I noticed that those who connected themselves with religious organizations remained substance free for longer periods, eventually developing healthy lifestyles. So, I thought this needs further investigation.
One day, as I was perusing the bible, several scriptures were revealed to me. The following scripture to this day is the one that helped me and continues to help connect the dots; "The mind GOVERNED by the FLESH [meaning; the flesh controls, influences, or regulate a persons actions, or course of events] is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so Romans 8:7. After meditating on this scripture for a time, I thought, maybe the therapeutic process is defective. Meaning, if we are in a state where our mind is not governing our flesh, then therapeutically how do we control our addictions? I received the following revelation; THE FLESH ALWAYS GOVERNS THE MIND WHEN GOD'S SPIRIT IS NOT PRESENT. “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please Galatians 5:17.”
Flesh is Satan's cursed nature. It is the SIN SKIN we were born into therefore it will not submit to our will. God Himself said, IT [FLESH] CANNOT DO SO. The following scripture presented further evidence; "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is DEATH, but to set the mind on the Spirit is LIFE and PEACE Romans 8:5-6 ESV." Therefore, when we set our mind on things of the flesh, flesh controls our views and actions.
Now, if the flesh is governing our mind, then our motives are the same as Satan’s, selfishness and self-love; addictions are all about self-gratification. So, in truth we choose to be governed by our flesh because we love the selfish, cursed nature. Therefore, since our flesh is cursed, the “acts of the flesh” are sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like... Galatians 5:19-21.
The revelation I received next was mind altering, so I hope you understand it; FLESH IS THE ADDICTION, not sex, food, drugs, alcohol... addictions are the lust and desires of the flesh. The flesh is like a child, it cries out when it cannot have what it wants. The natural mind cannot subdue it, which is why we need our Father’s Spirit to help us put flesh under submission in order to defeat our addictions.
As therapeutic counselors, we only treat one aspect of a bigger problem. That is why individuals we have counseled relapse; it’s like putting a band aide on a leaking pipe. Our flesh is Satan’s cursed nature, he is spirit, and you need a spirit to defeat a spirit. Since we were born into sin we must be re-born into spirit to free ourselves from it's bondage. Without receiving the Holy Spirit, the flesh governs our mind.